US Charge d’Affairs on Russia flight ban: ‘unwarranted, unnecessary and disproportional’

  • Demonstrators hold flags of the United States and NATO in front of the parliament of Georgia in Tbilisi. Photo: Nino Alavidze/, 7 Jul 2019 - 14:11, Tbilisi,Georgia

Elizabeth Rood, the United States Charge d’Affairs to Georgia said the measures that the Russian Federation has imposed against Georgia in recent days, such as banning flights or discouraging Russian tourists from visiting the country, are “unwarranted, unnecessary and disproportional”.

Rood also referred to the closure of crossing-points with Georgia’s Abkhazia region as “a serious concern”.  

It is creating an even more difficult humanitarian situation for residents of the Abkhazia region. It is restricting mobility and causing unnecessary hardships for residents on both sides of the ABL”, Rood said, calling on the de facto authorities in Sokhumi to reopen the crossing-points.

She then underscored that the United States is again calling on the Russian Federation “to abide by the 2008 ceasefire agreement and to allow humanitarian access and freedom of movement for both of Georgia’s occupied territories”.

Peaceful demonstrators will gather on Rustaveli Avenue in central Tbilisi for the eighteenth consecutive day today, again demanding the resignation of Interior Minister Giorgi Gakharia. Photo: Nino Alavidze/

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered a ban on flights to Georgia as part of Russian state reaction to protest in Tbilisi following a Duma MP's appearance in the Tbilisi parliament on June 20.

He ordered cessation of flights after a date of July 8 while also tasking his government with returning Russian citizens on temporary stay in Georgia and prohibiting Russian tour agencies from organising travels to the country.

Soon de facto Abkhaz leadership anounced that the “entry of foreign citizens from the territory of Georgia, as well as the departure of citizens of the Republic of Abkhazia to the territory of Georgia” will be restricted for an undefined period of time amid recent protest rallies in Tbilisi.